What is the Difference Between MSP and MSSP?

MSP is short for Managed Service Provider, while MSSP stands for Managed Security Service Provider. As the company owner, it is quite apparent that you’ll be concerned about your business’s security and the customer’s data. Also, working with reliable security service providers has become more important than ever in today’s age. While understanding the difference between MSSP and MSP can be challenging and confusing. Still, a busy professional must know that even if their company already has a Managed Service Provider, why would they need a Managed Security Service Provider too?

There are a lot of things to consider while looking for the best solution to handle the security of your company. It might be challenging to choose between the two services, but this article will explain the distinctions between MSPs and MSSPs so you can choose which is best for your company’s security requirements. 

What Do You Mean by Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

A managed service provider (MSP) is when a business engages with a specialized firm to offer certain services. Many individuals are aware of how outsourcing has helped firms save costs. MSP’s primary area of interest is its outsourced IT services. Typically, a managed service provider handles the following:

• Providing fully managed hardware outsourcing; 

• Managing IT infrastructure; 

• Providing technical support for employees

• Hardening IT systems’ cybersecurity 

• Managing client systems’ user access accounts 

• Managing software inventories

MSPs can offer remote servers and storage and software as a service. Some MSPs additionally provide their IT know-how to help a client’s system stay trouble-free and aid customers with usage issues. 

MSSP or Managed Security Service Provider 

An MSSP is a company that offers other firms outsourced security services, software, and expertise. Organizations who wish to outsource their cybersecurity program may get top-tier cybersecurity expertise from MSSPs.

Working with an MSSP is frequently either a replacement for or a supplement to having an internal security operations center (SOC). Companies may outsource to an MSSP if they cannot adequately staff their SOC with cyber experts. The exceptional experience of the MSSP is also relied upon by businesses in highly regulated sectors like banking and healthcare to guarantee that their networks are safe and compliant. 

Usually, the main services of MSSP include the following:

• Proactive measures like managed firewall

• Setting up and managing a virtual private network

• Setting up and managing anti-virus

• Alerting and event monitoring

• Prevention capabilities, intrusion detection, incidence response

• Enable the customers to identify and then react accordingly to a cybersecurity breach

Difference between MSSP and MSP

Here’s a thorough comparison between MSP and MSSP to help you understand their importance better:

  1. Role 

The managed services refer to the business model where the company outsources its Information Technology operations and functions. The MSPs are the companies that actively provide end users and enterprises with a predetermined set of technological solutions or services. 

On the contrary, managed security service providers, often known as MSSPs, are businesses responsible for managing an organization’s security requirements by offering complete security solutions. On a subscription basis, MSSPs provide electronic security services to their clients.

  1. Function

MSSPs are mostly known for offering various security oversight and monitoring services such as firewall management, virus protection, intrusion detection, URL blocking, network security monitoring, handling website risk assessment, etc. Therefore, MSSPs mainly deal with particular or all aspects of the IT security operations of the customers. 

On the other hand, MSPs handle mainly the IT aspects of a business, from its maintenance and bug fixes to website management, help desk support, and monitoring the performance of the servers at the data centers. 

  1. Primary Focus

MSSPs mainly focus on offering a huge range of security overnight and monitoring services dealing with the various security factors of a company. They also provide 24×7 security management and monitoring services for businesses that need round-the-clock monitoring for conducting various security events. Still, they lack the necessary in-house IT staff on board. 

MSPs are concerned about managing every aspect of IT. It includes managing the systems, IT infrastructure, and various cloud technologies to reach the business’s goals while increasing operational efficiency. 

MSP and MSSP – How to Choose?

Third-party operators MSPs and MSSPs operate via service-level agreements (SLAs). Their primary area, not how they work, is where they vary. You must identify the region of your business that requires specialized attention to make an educated decision between the two. Is it security or operations?

An MSP is the best option when you need to put new technologies into use or support your internal IT staff. MSPs provide thorough IT expertise while being inexpensive. On the other hand, MSSPs are the best option if your goal is to reduce cyber threats and create a successful cybersecurity strategy for your business.

It’s crucial to remember that an MSP can occasionally carry out simple security-related tasks. For instance, an MSP will deal with user permissions while addressing IT performance concerns. But improving operational effectiveness is still their main priority. The only source of solutions for advanced cyber threats and general security is an MSSP.

By adding a layer of sophisticated IT security knowledge, you may scale up your present security configuration. Expert MSSPs have developed alongside the advancement of cybersecurity technologies, and they utilize their knowledge in a range of client settings.

Additionally, it is typical to come across service companies offering general IT support and security services. In its 2021 research, Datto revealed that 99% of MSPs also provide managed security services after polling more than 1,800 managed service providers. It demonstrates how capable MSPs use managed security services to offer a full range of managed IT services. You might not require the services of an MSP if your company has a strong internal IT staff, but you need an MSSP if your business is not effectively set up to handle cybersecurity threats.

Final Note

Managed services are well-equipped to assist businesses in managing their IT infrastructure. While MSPs concentrate on IT administration, from managing the IT infrastructure and systems to managing cloud technologies, MSSPs are entrusted with addressing and mitigating security risks across an organization’s infrastructure, network, and applications. While both are managed service providers, hopefully, this post gave you a better insight into how they work and why you must choose them.